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Mauro GIULIANI (1781-1829)
Ariette-Lieder-Musiche da Camera

Sei ariette. Poesia di Metastasio Op.95 col accompagnamento di Chitarra. 1.-6. [16.19]
Qual mesto gemito per flauto e chitarra 7. [6.34]
Cavatine variée <Di tanti palpiti> Op. 79 (Tancred/Rossini) avec accompagnement de Guitarre et Piano-Forte 8 [6.56]
Three pieces- Op. 74 pour flûte et guitarre 9-11. [6.40]
Tre cavatine Op 39 con l’accompagnamento di Piano-Forte e Chitarra. [7.34]
Rondeau Op. 68 pour Piano-Forte et Guitarre 15. [4.42]
Sechs Lieder Op.89 mit Guitarre Begleitung 16-21. [19.18]
Divertimento per Flauto e Chitarra in Sol Maggiore. 22. [2.27]
Marie Louise au berceau de son fils Op. 27 Romance pour Soprano et Guitarre 23. [5.04]
Meister-Consort: Rosa-Maria Meister,Sopran; Enrico Casularo,Flöte; Jorge Fresno,Gitarre; Pierre Sublet, Hammerflügel.
Rec. 1989, Pere Casulleras, Waldenburg/ BL
JECKLIN-DISCO JD 624-2 [75.58]

Mauro Giuliani is best known for his guitar concertos Op. 30 and 70. Like contemporary Fernando Sor, Giuliani also wrote numerous works for guitar in combination with voice and other instruments. Aside from their etudes for guitar, much of what Giuliani and Sor wrote is infrequently, if at all, recorded. The quality of Giuliani’s works for guitar and flute (which he also played) is well demonstrated in the splendid recording "Italian Serenade" with James Galway and Kazuhito Yamashita (RCA CD 5679-2-RC) which regrettably is probably now out of print.

This new release from Jecklin-Disco features the guitar in an accompaniment role, predominantly with female voice, but also in combination with flute and pianoforte.

It is a recording of which Andrès Segovia would probably have disapproved because he spent his life trying to elevate the guitar from the accompaniment role to which it had been relegated, especially by the flamencos. While Segovia’s objective was praiseworthy it placed the instrument and its players in rather an insular environment that ultimately was to be deleterious to both. This writer is unaware of any recording made by Segovia in which the guitar was featured in any other context than solo or with orchestra. The same could be said for few other (if any) famous masters of their instrument. One must of course also consider that the guitar is really the only truly polyphonic stringed instrument, a factor that complemented this "splendid isolation".

On the review disc there is an overall slavish adherence to the "period" approach and each component is in strong compliance.

Highlights of the disc are the most enjoyable songs and the way in which they are interpreted by the soprano Rosa-Maria Meister. She grew up in the canton of Berne and in 1980 was awarded first prize in the National Music competition in Geneva. Ms. Meister’s special interest in early music motivated her to study early bel canto technique and she now has built up a repertoire ranging from the 11th to the 20th century.

In the late 1980s.guitarist Laurindo Almeida, soprano Salli Terri and flautist Martin Ruderman released a recording "Duets with the Spanish Guitar" (EMI CDM 7.63256 2). A second volume also featured a clarinet and an additional singer. Played on modern instruments and employing modern repertory, these recordings established an important standard for the guitar in an accompaniment role.

When one reflects on the guitar/flute combinations of Almeida/Ruderman and Galway/Yamashita, (period performance aside), musically the guitar/flute duets on the review disc are little lacklustre.

Having said that, overall this is a most enjoyable and worthwhile recording. Giuliani is not alone in having his music neglected, but much of what appears on this disc deserves exposure and the efforts of all involved are to be accoladed.

Those who invest in this rather beautiful and unique recording will not be disappointed.

Zane Turner


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